Why Dab Rig Size Matters

Why Dab Rig Size Matters

When dab rigs first came to the scene, they were large and cumbersome. Early on, there was no good way to smoke concentrates because of how sticky and viscous extracts could be — and getting your hands on dedicated dabware could be challenging.

Nowadays, the landscape has changed, with multiple convenient options allowing people to dab in a variety of ways – like choosing to carry their dabs around with them in pocket-sized vaporizers. But compact dab rigs are not the only option.

Mini rigs are becoming increasingly popular because they are much easier to carry, more convenient (and discreet when necessary), and produce a much cleaner flavor overall.

While both dab rigs and vaporizers have their place in the glass industry, knowing why mini rigs are a superior choice can help you to make the best possible purchase when it comes time to add one (or several) to your collection. Here's why mini rigs are the best choice for your all-around dabbing experience.

How Dab Rigs and Traditional Waterpipes are Different

There are a few key differences to take note of when it comes to traditional water pipes and glass dab rigs. For starters, traditional waterpipes are meant for smoking plant matter, while dab rigs are specifically designed for concentrates. The way the clouds travel is the same, but the mechanics are different. 

Since concentrates melt into liquid form before they vaporize, they need a more complex mechanism to keep them in place while air is pulled into the rig. With flower, the burning plant won't go anywhere as long as the opening is small enough. 

The second difference between water pipes and dab rigs is tied to how each form of smoking affects terpenes. Smoking plant matter reduces the amount of flavor, but having water in your chamber cools off the smoke enough so that you can taste it. 

Fewer terpenes are burned away with concentrates, so you experience a more complete flavor spectrum. This is why mini rigs, with their smaller chambers and options for tubing, are a more efficient way to enjoy the flavor.

The third difference is the size of the chamber. Waterpipes typically have significantly larger chambers than dab rigs, since it takes more water to cool down the smoke coming from plant matter. 

You do not need that large chamber for concentrates, so you see smaller chambers in dab rigs. This saves on material and keeps you from having to carry so much weight around.

How Mini Rigs Help

Mini rigs offer a number of advantages over traditional water pipes and larger dab rigs. They are easier to store and more portable, making them perfect for taking with you on the go. They are also faster to clean, meaning you can spend less time maintaining your rig and more time enjoying your favorite concentrates.

Additionally, they are harder to knock over, making them more durable and long-lasting.  Because mini rigs are smaller than larger rigs, they require less material. This lower price makes them far more affordable — which also trickles down to accessories (like dab tools) that then also cost less.

If you want a rig that is small enough to take with you on the go — but one that still gives you an enjoyable all-around experience — mini dab rigs are the best choice. They have all the benefits of more traditional dab rigs or silicone dab rigs without sacrificing functionality or convenience.

But miniature glass dab rigs aren't just convenient — they're objectively better for dabbing than electronic dab rigs or a silicone dab rig, and we can prove it. Let's talk about what makes mini dab rigs so much better than larger water pipes and novelty dab rigs.

How Size Impacts Your Dab

When it comes to dabbing, size does matter. In fact, the size of your rig can have a significant impact on the overall experience.

Larger rigs tend to produce more vapor, giving you beefier hits. However, they also require more material and are harder to store and transport. Mini rigs, on the other hand, are smaller and more portable. And what they're lacking in size, they make up for in pure flavor and raw dabbing power.

The secret behind mini dab rigs lies in the science behind how air and vapor interact at high temperatures.

At boiling temperatures, air resistance drops. When there's more pressure escaping from the hot oil than air pressure fighting back against it, the liquid evaporates into thick, juicy vapor. 

Without a cap, you let too much air into the dab nail, adding to the air resistance against the oil that's trying to evaporate. That is the reason that carb caps for your dabs are essential.

Once you draw the hot vapor into your rig, the next step is crucial. If there's too much space inside the tubing, any positive air pressure will push out against the vaporized substances, causing it to buckle and bend instead of flowing smoothly. 

When a smooth flow is interrupted, the smoke comes into contact with more oxygen. More oxygen causes a significant decrease in flavor, causing dreaded terpene degradation and stale, flavorless hits.

Excess tubing also results in more surface area where dried oil can build up. So, although it won’t necessarily eliminate residue, you'll ultimately spend more time cleaning your rig.

A smaller rig with a smaller chamber, on the other hand, produces bigger clouds of vapor you can inhale.  With less air resistance and a smaller chamber, the vapor flows more smoothly through the tubing and always stays as flavorful as possible.

Narrower tubing has less open space, making it easier for the vapor to maintain its flowing shape. It also drastically decreases the surface area where oil can build up—and cleaning your mini rig is fast and painless when you don't have to worry about scrubbing away at dried residue.

All of this means that your mini rig is more efficient than a larger one. In fact, the right-sized tubing and chamber can actually increase flavor by preventing air from diluting the vapor.

Smaller Rigs Mean Smaller Buckets

At MJ Arsenal, all of our modern glassware is sized to fit 10mm male to female joint sizes.

While larger sizes like 14mm and 18mm are plentiful, there are a number of reasons why 10mm is the way to go.

Firstly, smaller sizes are generally the most efficient. They require less material to function at standard glass dab rig temperatures, meaning they cost you less to purchase and replace. 

There's also no denying that smaller oil rigs make for more portable dabbing. You can stash your 10mm bucket in a purse, backpack, or even your pocket and take it with you wherever you go. Any rig built for a 10mm joint size is small enough to fit almost anywhere, unlike larger concentrate rigs that take up more space.

Plus, if you live in an apartment or are otherwise limited on space, having the smallest concentrate rig possible is key to enjoying concentrates no matter where you are.

Smaller joints also make it easier for you to handle the rig in general. A smaller surface area means less risk of dropping, breaking, or burning yourself on your glass pipe. Not only is 10mm more convenient for portable use, but it's also safer and easier to navigate when dabbing.

And when it comes to dabs, a bigger bucket doesn't always mean a better hit. It only takes a tiny amount of oil to dab, and it's easy to waste concentrates by putting too much into the bucket at once.

Your dabs will stop vaporizing efficiently once the temperature drops under 400-450 degrees, but you'll burn your dabs if you start hitting above 850 degrees. 

No matter what you do, you can only take as big a hit as your lung power allows—and your bucket will be cooling off in the meantime. This means it's not practical to overload your bucket, and as a result, larger dab nails don't add many benefits.

MJ Arsenal's fully fused bucket collection is made from 3mm thick quartz. Instead of dabbing with an oversized bucket, our miniature 10mm buckets make the most efficient use of your extracts. They offer superior heat retention to increase the "in-temp" time during your dab session.

You get the full flavor of your concentrates with less oil, meaning your bucket lasts longer and you spend less money in the long run.


When it comes to dabbing, smaller rigs are always better than larger ones. They're more efficient, easier to use, and less expensive in the long run. They also make your concentrates last longer, produce bigger clouds of vapor you can inhale, and are much safer to use than larger rigs.

Whether you're a new dabber or a longtime enthusiast, there's no reason to use a larger oil rig when smaller ones are more effective and convenient. Just because you're used to using a bigger rig doesn't mean it's the best way to go.

Check out MJ Arsenal's selection of mini dab rigs and read our dab rig FAQ—The Complete Guide to Dab Rigs—to see why smaller isn't just better—it's the future of concentrate consumption.